Had a race on ________ against Guyzer's Brown Ginger. Life very dull and __________ is in very confined space.
General and Stopsford and West go to Pretoria.
Above returned. They got by train all night to Greylingstaadt and then had to go by road; they caught up with a convoy which the enemy attacked but were repulsed.
The Boers apparently got wind of the General going and tried to get him coming back and when they arrived back they found the line cut, also telegraph. The C.S.O. here rather disturbed as a native came in to say Boers were intending to attack us; altogether a feeling of alarm prevailed with some. The Hollanders last night loosed off a lot of trucks, which had had brakes put on all night and sleepers also in front of them, down the diversion of the railway which had been just finished. Some trucks had been left on the temporary bridge over the river and they smashed into these and got overturned and broken up, besides damaging the line. They are a mischievous lot and the sooner put out of the country the better.
Life dreadfully dull, a little diversion caused by young Duke of Westminster coming up trying to return to Pretoria by this way which is impossible, so he returns tomorrow.
Had not seen him since Cape Town and it was interesting hearing of their doings on other sides; seems to have been quite a "jolly" for staff there in contrast to us.
War seems as far from the finish as ever and ideas of getting home hopeless.
The way we make war is rather ridiculous, I mean the lenient way we treat our enemy and no end will ever come unless we really make them feel uncomfortable; here we have round us houses flying the white flag where it is well known the owners go every night unmolested and shoot at us in the day time, why should they ever stop under conditions like that, and we don't take their cattle, horses or anything in spite of their having destroyed everything in Natal they could; the Boer does not understand it and has not feelings beyond, what you give him by coersion; it seems to all that by this leniency we are treating our own unfairly now. The war proper is really over and guerilla tactics begun, so strict measures ought to be taken and a chance given of surrender and the alternative of having the country devastated, the only way of bringing our might home to them and I fancy it would be the saving of many lives likely to be lost under present conditions in a very unsatisfactory way.
Had a sort of Regimental dinner at refreshment room at station, about 25 there; felt very ill next day; both food and liquor very indifferent; everybody made speech, rather rot. Boers attacked 2 Dublin Fusiliers up line at Zuckerbosch, got beat off. Clery returns after short trip towards Bethel, back to Greylingstaadt. Hildyard is making demonstration towards Awersfoot. Gen. Wyven the other day burnt some farms as telegraph got cut, including L. Botha's which seems to have had effect of stopping it, I'm sure it's the right thing to do.
Several of us went out yesterday afternoon to find a hare, which we did and had a great hunt, he went a devil of a pace at first making, after one turn straight back, a direct line for railway heading down line towards town, then straight up for § mile, then back into a drain; Col.Parsons threw stones through and he came out and ran down line again into another drain where he was killed on coming out, rather a good hunt. We didn't find any more. Reuter says Mrs Steyn has been found at Fouriesberg.
General got wire this morning to say Prinsloo has surrendered to Hunter with 5000 men; the best news we've had for some time and makes the end loom a bit nearer.